There is a moment of discontinuance each day of my life that takes place in my driveway. It has been this way for the last twenty years. This moment occurs in my car. This moment is the space in between when I pull into my driveway after a long, compressed day of work, and before I get out of the car to be at home with my family. Some days this moment happens while the sun is still up, other days, it happens long after the sun has retired for the day, and the moon is running its night shift.
In this moment, I will make every attempt to leave behind the events that occurred in my day, good or bad, and turn my focus, and the little bit of energy I have left, onto my family. Some days, my endeavor is met with success. Other days, not so much, but is not for lack of effort or intent. This is the one moment of my day where everything falls silent and I take a breath. I prepare to trade one set of noise for another. No matter how loud the turbulence of my day has been, it will not compare to the loudness on the other side of the front door of my house. It will just be a different sort of noise and commotion.
In this fleeting moment of discontinuance and stillness, I come to the realization that in the moments behind me, I’ve had the opportunity to work, contribute, and be one small part of the grand narrative of life that God uses to write and form each day, and turn it toward the grand end when Jesus returns. I will be tempted to think the work day was just another day of punching the clock to grind out a living. I will be tempted to think the moments I’ve experienced and the people I’ve cross paths with are just random, but nothing could be further from the truth.
There are seemingly random moments like this in the Scriptures. One can read through lists of genealogies in books like Genesis and feel like you’ve been cast into a sea of boredom. What do unfamiliar, unpronounceable names like Arphaxad, Shem, Eber, and Peleg have to do with anything in my life today, or the big picture for that matter? One need only to read on to discover that through history, they all lead to a man named Jesus, who would ultimately save and change the world. In Scripture and in life, the smaller parts, the supposedly unattractive details, always lead to the grandness of God’s mission.
As a result, big or small, good or bad, whether I’ve messed it up or done it right, if my life is lived unto the One who has fashioned and formed my being, every part of my day matters, and every part is pointing to something. That is worth waking up for, and that is worth carrying on for, until my task on earth is done. As mundane or undesirable as they may seem, the daily rhythms of my life are part of the greater cadence of God’s tempo to the grand finale. I won’t always feel this, but I trust it by faith, and that makes every moment have extreme value and marvelous possibility!
I pause, I take a breath, and prepare myself for what lies on the other side of the front door of my house. If the moments I have already encountered so far in my daily rhythm have such grand potential, then oh the wonder of possibilities lying before me with the ones who share my blood and DNA! There will be bikes to ride, games to play, homework to complete, events to discuss, balls to throw, meals to prepare, practices and games to attend, and perhaps even simple moments to sit on the couch and watch our favorite show or movie together. There will also be household chores, bills to pay, pets to feed, and maybe a few other undesirable tasks that make up the rhythms of our life. Every enterprise behind the front door will wring out every ounce of remaining stamina I have in me, until we all lay our heads down at night, only to rise a few hours later and repeat the same rhythm all over again.
Though it’s not required, if we’re fortunate enough, we may have a few pinnacle moments along the way. Perhaps a trip to the coast, a getaway to a mountain peak, an excursion to an amusement park or exotic location, any of which could provide us needed rest and lasting memories. Thankfully, life finds its rhythms in the highest of peaks and lowest of valleys. I have experienced them all. But I have discovered that most of the living in this life is done in the mundane moments of daily rhythms and routines. True joy will never be found in the pinnacles alone. True joy will never be found in waiting for the next thing or the next highlight to come along. True joy is being totally aware of how much grandness and promise exists in the routine of day to day living.
There’s another moment in the Bible where God makes a promise to a childless and heirless Abraham that his descendants would be like the sand on the seashore. If it were me, I would tend to think the babies would start pouring out of my wife Sarah at this point. Okay God, the pinnacle can start happening any moment now! But nothing happened for years after that promise. Both Abraham and his wife grew into old age and were well past childbearing age.
Imagine, there in his driveway, Abraham is sitting at the interchange between what God has promised, and the reality of his actual circumstances. Life seems to just continue to be filled out with ordinary moments of randomness. But nothing could be further from the truth. Romans 4 tells us that in this in-between space, Abraham kept hoping, even when there was no reason for hope. At the ripe, old age of 100, and when his wife’s womb was practically dead, they gave birth to a son. A pinnacle moment, of course! But according to Romans 4, every mundane moment up until this point had been a pinnacle moment, because he refused to stop believing that every mundane moment in between matters and is pointing to something. As a result, his faith grew.
Like Abraham, you may be sitting in a moment of discontinuance and interchange between what you hoped for and the reality of your circumstances. If you focus simply on your circumstances, you will be left overwhelmed by what you deem to be random and pointless. But if, like Abraham, you focus on the God controlling your circumstances, you will find your faith to strengthen beyond description, and you will experience the wonder of being able to find the miracle in the mundane. There is a great moment when you find the grandness in your circumstances, even when they haven’t turned or changed at your desired pace.
So I close my eyes, take a breath, a smile comes across my face, and exuberant joy shoots through my weary veins. The moments ahead, just behind that front door will require everything of me, but oh, the possibilities and future memories they hold! Oh, the potential to lift life above the ordinary…right there in the routine! They will be loud and boisterous, and I may be tempted to desire an exit. But I will not entertain even the hint of such a thought. For I know, that one day soon, these loud moments will be a distant memory, and the silence I thought I wanted will be deafening, and I will long to have them back again. I open the door, lift up my head, and embrace the here and now for all that it wonderfully offers me. Oh…the possibilities! Thank you Lord.